chapter  6
Getting the politics right
Beyond ‘good governance’ in Afghanistan
ByJonathan Goodhand
Pages 18

This chapter examines wider debates on governance and its relationship to development, state building and counter-insurgency. It then provides a broad overview of shifting governance arrangements within Afghanistan in response to the different phases of intervention, as well as various international initiatives aimed at promoting 'good governance'. Counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency (COIN) doctrines have given a harder edge to state building and governance interventions. The Bonn Agreement was supposed to pave the way for a legitimate political authority in Afghanistan. However, far from being a transmission mechanism for the liberal peace template, it was the result of messy compromises between internal and external players, and contained distinctly illiberal and non-democratic dimensions. Finally, the chapter concludes by outlining the implications of the 2014 transition for governance arrangements within Afghanistan and the lessons for international actors. Overall the inteqal (transition) approach overemphasised the military aspect of the problem, and neglected the political track.